The revival of an informal district
In the framework of our master’s thesis and the associated foreign internship in Brazil, a number of students analysed the favela district of Chié, located in the state of Recife. Observations from an intensive fieldwork in Chié were the starting point for a design research. A convincing master plan was set up to address the potential of Chié and to solve the associated problems. In this master plan, a balance was searched between solutions that both meet the needs of the residents of the district and solutions that we ourselves considered essential in order to obtain a well-functioning master plan.
It is obvious that Chié is a district with its advantages and disadvantages. In this study we tried to look at the problems with a realistic view and to solve them in a responsible way. The negative connotation associated with informal neighbourhoods was attempted to overcome. In addition to poor housing situations and a lack of facilities, the district has various open spaces that give a direct impulse for design solutions.
By mentioning several places that we ourselves considered essential to the revival of Chié, we opted for a uniform structure of the book. Whereas the first chapter systematically formulates all the items, the next chapter discusses a design solution for each place. In each case, a feedback is made to the findings of the first part of the book. For this reason, a master plan will eventually be obtained that responds to various aspects. The density will be examined and in some places reformed. Subsequently, open spaces will be redesigned by adding new infrastructure and functions. In addition, housing will be provided that responds to the need for expansion and provides an answer to the precarious living conditions. Finally, a better connection with the urban fabric will be provided and the relationship with the surrounding favela neighbourhoods will be addressed. This will result in a master plan with an extensive research field. Chié will be transformed into a neighbourhood where vibrancy predominates and safety is a priority.
The ambition of this master’s work lies in the fact that an informal district should not necessarily be reduced to an unpleasant place. A favela district also has potential and charms that we would like to explain in this assignment.